Course Planning

Pre-medicine - Where to Start?

The course planning advice here is limited to completing this major which is just one piece of the overall Hendrix College degree requirements.  For a full description of degree requirements see the Catalog.

Pre-medicine is not a major.  The courses suggested here are those you need to be ready to take the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT).  The suggestions here include the typical pre-requisites for attending medical school. You will still need to complete a major, along with the other degree requirements to graduate from Hendrix. 

What does it mean to be “pre-med”?

Being “pre-med” means you are considering applying to, and attending, medical school after you graduate from Hendrix.  As soon as you realize you are considering medical school, you should:

  • connect with a pre-med advisor and pre-med resources.  Click here to sign up for resources:  pre-med resources

Recommended First-year Course work

If you are considering medical school, you should look to complete the following courses by the end of your first year at Hendrix:

  • Cell Biology (BIOL 150);
  • General Chemistry I (CHEM 110) followed by General Chemistry II (CHEM 120);
  • A mathematics course based on student placement pages.  Typically Calculus I (MATH 130) possibly followed by Calculus II (MATH 140). Math requirements vary between majors and medical schools.

NOTE: It is important to understand that medical schools value academic success (aka GPA) above speeding through a program of study. Strongly consider delaying General Chemistry I(CHEM 110) until your sophomore year if your algebra skills are weak, or your MATH ACT is 23 or below. Data shows that success in the General Chemistry sequence (CHEM 110 & CHEM 120) is highly correlated with algebra skills. Additional math experience and experience in college greatly improves the likelihood of a positive outcome. If you have questions about your starting point in Chemistry, please consult a member of the Chemistry Department.

What major should I choose?

You can apply to medical school while majoring in any subject at Hendrix. No specific major carries any advantage.  Medical schools value academic success (a good GPA) above speeding through the undergraduate program. A good GPA is most easily achieved if you:

  • plan your courses based on your placement records;
  • major in a subject that you are passionate about, and that aligns with your academic interests and strengths. 

What does preparing for medical school include?  

When putting together your course schedule it is important to consider how these courses will help you prepare to apply to, and attend, medical school. Preparing to apply to medical school includes:

  • Taking the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT). The MCAT tests information traditionally covered in academic coursework;
  • Preparing for success in medical school. Each medical school has slightly different course requirements so check the websites of the medical schools you are interested in attending.  Speak to an advisor from the Pre-Medical Advising Committee (PMAC) to ensure you meet the coursework requirements;
  • Developing a personal portfolio of activities that demonstrates cultural competency, compassion, and an in-depth knowledge of the healthcare system; See here.
  • Creating a personal statement that reflects the strengths and understanding that you bring to the medical profession.

Remember, as soon as you realize you are considering medical school, you should:

  • request a meeting with an advisor from the Pre-Medical Advising Committee (PMAC) who can answer specific questions about the academics and professional preparation necessary for medical school.  Email